Thinking of the first day you walked through the Merton Lodge arch as a student, what was your first impression?
I actually remember being acutely embarrassed. I had been intending to arrive appropriately dressed for the venerable place. My mum’s car broke down on the long journey from Glasgow, I arrived late for the freshers’ get together in the JCR and looked a mess. But looking back, I definitely thought: new door opening – new adventures coming. I’d set my heart on Merton when I’d come down for interview on the “Scottish Scheme”.
Do you have a particular memory that stands out from your time at Merton?
One would definitely be evening flits over the quad, attired only in my dressing gown, to be able to take a bath in the superior bathroom of Prince Hiro (Naruhito). Another would be arranging a fun photo call for the whole college. Looking at the group photo today there are some very weird creatures popping up between fresh-faced students.
Tell us something about yourself that we would not know.
As an artist, freelancer and creative I admit to being a bit of a workaholic, but when on holiday I can just lie on a beach for hours, listening to the sound of the sea, soaking in the sun – and OK, I admit it, reading a good novel.
What tips would you give your younger self to prepare for the career you have achieved?
Observe, listen, absorb
Watch people, watch people moving – in crowds, in groups, in pairs, alone
Describe Merton in three words.
Serene, quirky, steeped in history.